This is stressing me out. Bigly. I have a job that I love and I’m good at. My commute is already soul-crushingly awful (2.5-3.5 hours a day total) and my office is moving about 20 miles further away (adding anywhere from 1-1.5 EXTRA to my daily commute) at the end of the year. I’ve been punching the numbers and I think I may have overwhelmed myself.

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I am extremely passive and have never negotiated for anything or even asked for a raise. I am confident that I am valued at my job, but I have this nagging feeling like I am about to find out just how much, you know?

I already know that I have to stop driving, or I will literally go insane. I’ve been doing the commute for 15 years (I’ve moved around functions) and it’s gotten super fucking shitty. I can take the train, but I will have to keep a beater car at the station where I currently work and drive the extra 20 mile distance back and forth (no train station there).

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I have a son who I have every other week and as I’ve realized just how much I don’t see him as it is, it’s become depressingly clear that I have to make some kind of change.

I know the company will consider some flexibility but from what my little birdies have told me it’ll be one work from home day for those who have commutes over an hour.

On the weeks I don’t have my son, I don’t give a fuck, I will work a 12 hour day. But the weeks I have him, I want to be able to drop him at school, pick him up, and see him more than a rushed 1.5 hour—bath, dinner, homework, bed...) by the time we get home at night.

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The trouble with this, and I completely understand, is that I work in a creative and collaborative environment. I think it’s more palatable if there are set days off (like 2 days each week) versus more sporadic (what would be more ideal—4 days every other week—the weeks I have my son). In total it’s the same number of days but with scheduling meetings, etc, I know it would be impossible.

I know I am rambling, I have been traveling for work and I have jet lag and I haven’t been sleeping because I’ve been staring at my spreadsheet I have anally created laying out all the numbers and different situations.

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I guess my questions are this:

  • Negotiating in general. Any resources or advice on this? Especially for scaredy cat women.
  • Putting a value on time. How do you do this exactly? How do I look at my time working, time commuting, time with my son and balance?
  • Related to that, how does that look in terms of negotiating—basically asking for the most WFH days and salary increase.
  • Am I missing any options. Besides looking for another job, which is definitely on my list. Different schedule with my son’s dad? Stuff like that?
  • I tend to get VERY hyper-focused in these situations and I already have like a huge spreadsheet with a lot of numbers. Is it best to approach negotiating with solid data or more flexible?

Sorry for the long-ass post. I just have a really great job, I love the people, I love the work. I am in the creative world, and although I do my own work, I don’t have any illusions or even desire of setting out on my own. I just don’t know what to do :-(